Royal Week

Submitted by edg on Mon, 12 Jul '10 7.52pm
Time & place

Royal Week (aka Holyrood Week) is an annual visit by the reigning British monarch to the city of Edinburgh. For around a week, usually at the end of June to early July, the Royal Family takes up residence in the Palace of Holyrood House.

The week begins with the Ceremony of the Keys where the Queen officially receives the Keys to the City from the Lord Provost of Edinburgh on the forecourt of Holyrood Palace.

In this symbolic ceremony, the Queen is offered the Keys and welcomed to "your ancient and hereditary kingdom of Scotland." She then returns the Keys to the Lord Provost with the words: "I return these keys, being perfectly convinced that they cannot be placed in better hands than those of the Lord Provost and councillors of my good city of Edinburgh."

The week includes an investiture of Scots residents who have received honours in the twice-yearly Honours List, held in the Great Gallery of Holyrood House.

The Queen also invites around 8,000 people "from all walks of life" to a private garden party in the grounds of Holyrood Palace. Guests are served tea, accompanied to music from regimental bands and a pipe society.

The Royal Company of Archers, the Queen's bodyguard in Scotland, are on duty at the garden party. The Archers form avenues down which The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh separately proceed, meeting up at a "grand circle" lined by the Archers where further presentations take place. The Queen and her party have tea in her tent beside the "circle" while her guests take tea in other marquees in the gardens of the Palace.

Royal Week may also include the Thistle Installation Service at St Giles Cathedral.